Title: The Happy Switch
1. Many of the things that we do in church are meant to help remind us of our baptism. We start the service with the Invocation, making our beginning “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” This is the same name and same wording that is used at our baptism (“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”). We often make the sign of the cross over ourselves or have the pastor make it over us. This too reminds us of our baptism, where we received the sign of the cross over our head and our heart to mark us as a child of God. Even the Apostles Creed reminds us of our baptism, as it is the creed that is spoken at our baptism. Obviously, our baptism is important and something that we are to frequently remember! Why is your baptism so important? What does it do and what benefits does it give you? (See Romans 6:1-11).
2. John the Baptist proclaimed “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3). Yet, even though Jesus was sinless, Luke tells us that he still received this baptism from John (Luke 3:21). If Jesus is sinless, why does he receive a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins? (2 Corinthians 5:21 provides a good clue).
3. In our baptism, we are united to Christ. This means that everything that is His (i.e., life, righteousness, etc.) becomes ours and everything that is ours (i.e., sin, death, guilt, etc.) becomes His. This is “the happy switch” that Luther and the church fathers often talk about. We get Jesus’ life and righteousness while he receives our sin, our guilt, and our punishment. According to Romans 6:1-11, this is a switch that takes place in our baptism. How can this help to lift the burden of guilt from your shoulders? Is there anything in your past that you still feel guilty about? Confess it to God, ask for His forgiveness, and then know that Jesus has taken it from you and bore your sin, guilt, and same to the cross. It is His to bear and you have been set free!